Friends of BU student killed in hit-and-run grieve

(Photo by Kristen Singletary)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Friends of Baylor sophomore David Grotberg, who died in a hit-and-run accident as he rode his bicycle with his girlfriend, gathered for a memorial service Friday afternoon on the university campus.

Grotberg, 19, of Fergus Falls, Minn., whom the university described as "one of our brightest stars," died Thursday night after a vehicle struck him as he rode his bicycle in the 3100 block of Franklin Avenue.

The Honors Residential College held a gathering for support and prayer for students and faculty Friday afternoon.

Classmate and friend, Siboneth Trujillo described him as “the way we should be”.

“He was very witty and funny, sweet and humble. He kind of gave us all a way that we should live like” Trujillo said.

Dr. Jonathan Tran, Ph.D., faculty steward for the Honors Residential College and associate professor of religion, fought back tears as he conducted the service.

“When [David is] somewhere, it will be known. He’ll make a lasting impression. [David] loved his friends deeply. He’s very smart, very energetic, and just full of life. He had a whimsical nature about him. He’s gifted, and he brought a lot of joy,” Tran said.

Officers responded at around 10 p.m. Thursday after a caller reported that a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed struck a bicyclist.

The vehicle never stopped and continued eastbound on Franklin, fleeing the scene, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

Paramedics and firefighters tried unsuccessfully to revive Grotberg, who was pronounced dead at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, Swanton said.

Grotberg’s girlfriend, who was not injured, is also a Baylor student, he said.

Grotberg was a very active and visible presence on the Baylor campus, the university said in a press release Friday.

He was involved in the Honors College as a member of the Honors Residential College community and participated in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, the Honors Program and the University Scholars Program.

Grotberg played trumpet as a member of the Baylor Golden Wave Marching Band

He also served as president of the Ballroom Dance Society and was involved in Alliance Bible Church in Waco.

“Like a lot of students in our community, David was amazingly gifted – smart, artistic, creative – but even among our students he stood out for his energy, charisma and winsomeness,” Tran said.

“He was surely one of our brightest stars, loved by so many and with such a boundless future. This is an unimaginable loss for our community, Baylor at large, and most certainly his family and friends.”

“We are devastated by the news of David’s passing,” said Isaiah Odajima, associate professor and associate director of bands in the School of Music.

“David was a bright shining star within the Golden Wave Band.

“He was a selfless young man, a giver of enormous positivity and energy.

“He was a servant leader within our band family.

“He loved the band, he loved Baylor, and above all else, he loved the Lord. He will be dearly missed,” Odajima said.

Swanton said investigators are looking for the vehicle that was involved in the crash but have made no arrests.

(Kristen Singletary contributed to this story)